Building a business is hard work. It’s even more challenging in our industry due to the court reporter shortage that is happening over the next few years. By 2018, it is estimated that 5,000 reporters nationwide will be retiring. Not only that but the average age is about 53 years old, well above the 41 year old average for all other careers.
How much does communication matter?
Communication matters a lot considering we may need to keep experienced reporters working longer than they might be planning just to get the new ones through school. Building (and keeping) relationships with law firms is key along with encouraging young people to this career.
One of the most cost effective ways to do this is through social media.
Leverage Social Media
While we may deal with sensitive topics in private proceedings, there’s a lot that can be shared about the industry to attract new court reporters. While most millennials are spending time on Twitter and Instagram, their Gen X counterparts are on Facebook, making each of these social media sites great places to build community and engage.
Let’s not forget LinkedIn which is powerful for connecting people and careers. Not only can we build relationships with law firms and lawyers, we can connect with people seeking employment or new career opportunities.
The world is a lot smaller than it used to be which is good; we can reach more people faster.
As an industry I often wonder if we’re doing enough to help ourselves. Are we communicating the earning potential? Fresh out of school a new court reporter can make close to $50,000 and with experience can make upwards of six figures. That’s without the hassle of obtaining a four year degree meaning you can start earning sooner.
Most court reporters are freelancers so they can work when they want. That’s an option that might be attractive to someone who wants to earn a good income while still having freedom to travel or work on their own projects. While it doesn’t happen overnight, the option to pursue that lifestyle is certainly available.
Often missed by business owners, follow through is a key to success. We’re always seeking ways to connect with our law firms, career counselors, and court reporting schools.
We need to engage our community before the demand outweighs the supply.
Together we can spread the word about the benefits of being a court reporter.